Yes, part one, because I started writing this and was like, “No way can I contain this into even one single blog post – not even a big “Awards show”-sized one.”
So, you get my first two part blog. Huzzah!
Okay, so two days ago, Mickey and I were out picking through record shops when I just popped up outta nowhere with this:
“Wanna go to Canada tomorrow?”
Obviously his answer was “yes” because we went, but I think I took him by surprise. We’d been planning to go to Canada for a bit, cause it’s only 20 minutes away from the Professor Haus. However, we hadn’t pulled the trigger yet, because I think we were both kind of nervous about going through border control.
Why? Because it was a completely new experience for the both of us. I don’t know about y’all, but if you put my brain in a completely new situation, it’s gonna want as much info as possible to help it get through the situation.
But it couldn’t find anything written for human consumption about what the experience is like. I could only find highly coded, highly confusing government documents.
So I will tell you what it was like for us, an autistic, OCD bisexual woman with aphantasia who dresses like a child most days and a tall, autistic ADHD dood who looks intimidating if you do not know him.
First, before we even left, we cleaned out the car a bit. Got rid of some of the trash and made sure there weren’t any stray pre-rolls hanging around (there were not, you know I keep a toight leash on those. TOIGHT!). Then we made sure we both had our passports and ids and then we had to download and do some stuff in this app.
The app is called “ArriveCan” and there are a few steps to go through to get into the country.
First you must fill out all your personal info, name, contact info, all that.
Then you upload your proof of vaccination. Easy Peasy.
Then comes section 2, where they ask you about the trip you’re taking to their fine country. I did okay with this part, but there were a couple sections that broke my brain just a little bit, so I will tell you about them, in case you have an issue.
The first question that tripped me up was worded, “What best describes you or your primary reason for visiting Canada?” with like 6 or 7 options underneath.
There was one answer that felt right for what we were doing – “Discretionary/optional travel – Foreign nationals who intend to enter canada for visits….” and then a long list of other things. My brain, though, my brain got HUNG UP on the words “foreign nationals”. Was that what I was?
Of course, this lead me to a round of Googling, which ended on “Am I, a US Citizen, a foreign national when I travel to Canada?” I couldn’t get an answer clear enough for my brain, so I sent KPerks a screenshot and asked, “IS THIS RIGHT? PLEASE TELL ME YES.”
She replied, “correct option chosen.”
I’m so glad I know a world traveller like her.
Now, my next speedbump in this app was a question asking where I would stay if I ended up testing positive for Covid during my stay in Canada. Like, we were only there for the day, so I didn’t think I’d get a surprise Covid test, especially since I”m not sneezy, cough-y or fever-y at all.
But I still had to fill this out, so I picked a Best Western in Windsor, because the Best Western here in Melvindale has Mugly’s in it, so now I have a soft spot for the brand.
Those were the only two questions that gave me any trouble and we both did the ArriveCan App and were ready to begin our journey.
We passed the flame, which makes any trip start off extremely exciting for me and within 15 minutes we were on the bridge to Canada (for which we had to pay $6.)
And it was very tall and steep. Like, way taller and steeper than I expected after looking at it from the city for so long.
Here is a pic of the Ambassador Bridge courtesy of the Detroit Historical Society, so you can peep what I’m talking about – not that steep, right?! It feels steep when you’re passengerin’ on it though.
So we cross that bridge when we came to it and then we did some twists and turns and ended up in a line of cars.
Both Mickey and I were pretty quiet at this time, both with excitement and nervousness.
I pulled out my phone to randomly scroll to shut up my brain and realized – I have no Internet. Oh, yeah, duh, we are in a different country, of course we do not.
So much for using Google Maps to navigate us around, right?! It was okay, thought, I had some weird confidence that we’d just magically “find things.”
Spoiler alert: we did not.
Then, we were next. (You can tell this is the beginning of the trip because I was still ungiddy enough to remember to take pics.)
When we got to the window, we had all of our paperwork ready and the ArriveCan app up, because we wanted this to be as painless as possible.
The fella at the window asked us a series of questions including what we did for work, where we lived and what we planned to do in Canada.
We had good answers for everything except the last one, so I said, “We are not 100% sure, but I definitely want poutine.”
You know, I answered honestly.
They also asked if we had any alcohol, tobacco or firearms, which we answered “No” to. The next question was about marijuana, to which we also answered no.
Then he asked if it was our first time in Canada and asked us to roll down the back window of the car.
We have been having some child lock issues, and the window would NOT go down. It was that weird cycle of panic and immediate embarrassment that ensures the thing you are trying to do will not work out.
It didn’t. We could not get the window open for this dood, so he just shined his flashlight into our empty backseat and asked if we were bringing anything else into Canada with us.
I held up Larry the Pool Sloth and he said, “Oh, okay, just a teddy bear then.”
Puh. Larry is NOT a Teddy Bear.
Karry is a sloth with sparkly eyes, thank you very much.
The border control fella asked again if it was our first trip to Canada, to which we both replied, “yes.”
Then he fiddled around on his computer and asked if we had ever had any trouble with the law, to which we answered honestly.
Then he handed us a slip of yellow paper, our passports and told us to pull into a parking lot up ahead where we would have to take the yellow slip of paper into the building and they would finish processing us there.
We parked in a mostly empty lot and walked into a lobby filled with about 6 workers and the same amount of patrons, maybe even 8 of us.
After a few moments of standing there awkwardly, an officer asked us for our yellow paper and our passports and asked us to sit in one of the chairs.
But not before complimenting me on my dress. I did look cute yesterday, though. Of course there are no photos. But I can describe it for you! I wore a pink dress with white daisies embroidered on it. It is a two-layer dress: there’s a pink opaque slip thingie, covered by a sheer overlay with daisies on it. It has short lil puffy sleeves, but I covered those up with a black and white plaid flannel, unbuttoned, tied under my boobs with the sleeves rolled up. Then I had white knee socks and grey mary janes. It is an outfit I recently added to my rotation and I do like it a lot.
So, the room we found ourselves in was like the Canadian DMV but a lot scarier, because we were without our passports in another country. Look, I have an active imagination, okay. Even if I didn’t do anything unlawful, my brain is telling me they’ve found something and now I am headed to the Canadian jail, eh?
There were three gothic youths in the waiting room with us and they were NOT having a good day. They were fighting with each other loudly the entire time they shared the room with us. One of them was NEVER working with the other two again because of whatever had happened that caused them to be in this situation.
The air in there was thick with stress already and their drama was not helping.
Occasionally, other folks would be called up to the window and no one seemed to be having a good time. I was honestly pretty stressed during this time, no foolin’, no jokin’. They gave us the exact right amount of not enough information about what was going on to get my brain a-spinnin’.
Then the gothic youths had their turn and their results were loud enough for the entire room to hear, “$1000 fine? That’s it Then we can have our van back? Can I pay it now?”
After paying, they disappeared like ghosts. I wonder if they are still fighting today.
Then someone said “Jack- quill- Liiiiine” and I ignored them. Then Mickey poked me and we went up to the window for our own torture session.
She basically asked us the same questions the window fella who can’t tell a sloth from a Teddy Bear did.
My favorite part is when she asked us, in an amused tone of voice, “So you just decided yesterday to make the trip to Canada today?”
To which I replied – “Heck yeah we did!”
And then she asked me, with what seemed like genuine interest, “What are you planning to do here?”
Me: “Well, we were planning to adventure around with the help of our phones, but we don’t seem to have Internet – so, my final answer is ADVENTURING!”
She laughed a little and told me that we needed to turn on the roaming on our cell phones and we’d be fine for adventuring.
Then she handed us our yellow paper and our passports and sent us back out into the parking lot where we were supposed to hand our yellow paper to an office and then go about our way.
We didn’t see an officer out there so we started walking back to our car, thinking maybe we had to drive to some other window to see the officer. We were almost to our car when a voice boomed out, “Hello! Can I help you?”
Or something like that. I can’t remember, my brain was in panic mode.
We handed him our yellow thing and then he waved us away. The signage getting out of there was NOT GOOD, but we did the thing and we were in Canada.
With no navigation. But like I said, I had this misplaced confidence that we could just drive around and find things.
So we tried that for about 30 minutes and found nothing but a lot of cute neighborhoods that kind of felt like Cape Canaveral somehow. Then I decided to make a phone call to ATT to see how much it would be to turn on Canada for us.
They tried to get me to completely switch plans on the call. We’re on an old grandfathered unlimited plan that I do not want to get rid of without a ot of research first, so I did not want to do that at all.
It was $15 to turn on our International service for the day, so we did that and mashed our first destination into the map app.
Yes, of course our first stop was poutine. I mean, I feel like if we didn’t do that we’d be Canada-ing wrong.
What do you imagine when you hear that name? Frenchie’s Poutinery? Like, a fancy place, with sit downs and menus and waiters and upscape poutine.
That is not what is was.
It was even better. It was, like, dive bar level poutine but not in a bar.
We drove past it first to scope out the parking situation. Then we drove about a block away and parked, where I paid at the meter, but it would only let me pay until 6pm, so I had a low key worry all day if our car would be gone when we got back because of me missing a sign (ABSOLUTELY NO PARKING AFTER 6PM, EH?) or something. It was not, but the walk back to the car was an adventure in itself, but that’s for tomorrow.
So, Frenchies. The dive poutinery. There were murals on the walls and a place to wait for takeout, a couple tables and not much else.
You walked up to the counter, looked at a laminated menu with exactly two things on it (Poutine and sliders) and make your order.
There were so many different things you could get on your poutine, it was kind of overwhelming to my brain that was still calming down. I ordered my poutine with mushrooms and green peas.
Mickey got his with bacon and I think that’s it, but I don’t remember 100%. And we also got four meatball sliders with mozzarella and mushrooms.
Turning to the flattop and fryers directly behind him, the chef began cooking our food immediately after taking our orders. He gestured to a drink cooler for us to get our drinks.
My Cream Soda was PINK and was better somehow then normal cream soda AND red cream soda. Mickey’s Root Beer was appropriately bite-y.
Then the sliders arrived and they were packed full of deliciousness. LOOK!
They were messy to eat, but the chef did something I liked a lot – he chopped up the meatballs! I much prefer that rather than one big hunk of meat to work my way through.
And here is the poutine.
The green peas were actually perfection. They popped in my mouth like they were supposed to and the gravy was delectable and to die for.
Definitely the best poutine that’s slid past these lips.
Here’s Mickey’s. How had bacon and it was the saltiest in the best way.
I think this is a good breaking point for this long ass two part blog.
Tomorrow, I’ll give you part two with a visit to the Canadian Marijuana Dispensary (it felt fake, unlawful and not at all real), followed by a walk by the Canadian riverside (I think you know why), followed by a spur of the moment visit to Canadian Caesar’s (gorgeously empty and made for not overwhelming, but just-the-right-amount of audio and visual stimulation, plus we played — did we win?!), then I’ll tell you about our walk back to the car in the Canadian rain (my shoes did not get wet), a shopping trip at a Canadian grocery store, our visit to a Canadian park where we almost got sprayed by a skunk (also in the rain), and our journey back into the United States… did we get stopped by the border control people again? Did they correctly identify Larry as a sloth? You’ll just have to wait for part 2!